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Understanding the Difference Between Structure and Function in Fitness

In the world of exercise, it is important to understand the difference between structure and function. These two concepts are closely related, but they refer to different aspects of the body and its capabilities.

What are Function and Structure?

Structure refers to the physical makeup and anatomy of the body. This includes bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other tissues that make up the body’s musculoskeletal system. The structure of the body is important because it provides the framework for movement and supports the body’s weight.

Function, on the other hand, refers to the way the body moves and performs tasks. This includes activities such as lifting, carrying, walking, and running. Function is closely related to muscle strength and endurance, as well as flexibility and mobility.

Applying to Client Training

It is important to understand the relationship between structure and function in fitness, as the two are closely interconnected. The structure of the body provides the foundation for movement and performance, and proper function relies on a healthy and balanced musculoskeletal system.

For example, a client with poor posture and a weak core may have a structural issue that needs to be addressed. In this case, exercises such as planks and deadlifts that focus on strengthening the core and correcting alignment would be prescribed to address the structural issue.

On the other hand, a client who wants to improve their running performance would have a functional goal. In this case, exercises such as interval training, hill sprints, and plyometrics that focus on increasing cardiovascular endurance and leg strength would be prescribed to improve their running function.

In summary, structure and function are important concepts in fitness. Structure refers to the physical makeup of the body, while function refers to the way the body moves and performs tasks. Understanding the relationship between structure and function can help to improve performance and prevent injuries in fitness activities.

Author: Michael Lea, Onfit Education Team

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